At 20-years-old, Sandra, was diagnosed with hearing loss, which was a shock to her. She was identified as a cochlear implant candidate and was excited to be able to hear again. With her cochlear implant, she is now a thriving mother of three and loves to use her feature forward Cochlear™ Nucleus® System. Read her story below:


“My name is Sandra. I’m a mom of two daughters and one son. I love being a mom.

Back in the year 2000, I lost hearing in my right ear. I now wear a cochlear implant on my right ear, which helps me hear everything.

I woke up one morning and thought my hearing aid was not working. My audiologist tested the behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aid and it was working just fine. I took a hearing test and the result showed that I lost my hearing completely. For no reason, my hearing was gone just like that. I was not sick. At the time I was 20 years old. I was in shock!

My audiologist suggested a cochlear implant so that I could understand sounds like before I lost my hearing and they thought that a cochlear implant was my best option to hear again. After this suggestion, I read everything I could on cochlear implants and even did the online hearing aid review check to see if a cochlear implant was for me.

Sandra, who overcame her hearing loss with a cochlear implant, smiling for a side profile photo under a tree, standing next to a pond. A cochlear implant: regaining sound in my life

It took me weeks before I decided to get the cochlear implant. Many questions were swirling in my head, I thought about what it would be like to hear again and how I would understand the sounds with my new cochlear implant. I thought about the surgery: ‘Would it hurt? How long until I can use my sound processor and hear sounds again?”

I met with my surgeon and discussed the process of receiving the cochlear implant. He explained every step of the surgery and post-op. Shortly after discussing the process with my surgeon I received the call that I was accepted to get my cochlear implant! I was so excited; I couldn’t wait to hear again! I am so appreciative to everyone involved at House Ear Clinic who was able to support me in the process of receiving my cochlear implant.

Surgery day came and was finished quickly. A one-day surgery in which I was able to go home to recover. An electrode array was placed inside the cochlea of my right ear and receiver/stimulator inside the side of my head.

When I arrived home from the hospital on the same day of the surgery, I could only sleep on one side that was not operated on but sleeping a lot and eating liquid food helped. Following the doctor’s orders is the key to the best result.

Activation for my sound processor and adapting to new sounds!

I recovered completely in a month. My surgeon was happy to see that I took care of my incision so well. With how nicely the incision was healing, I was able to move to the next step and schedule an appointment with an audiologist for my sound processor activation.

I was completely deaf for almost two months, then I met the audiologist to set up the powerful bodyworn speech processor. When I originally received my device, the speech processor was connected to a box, almost like a Walkman. The box was placed in my jean back pocket along with the wires going up to place the implant onto my right ear. This was a huge difference from my old ear mold hearing aid.

There was so much to adapt to when I received the processor. I was stressed but I was strong because I wanted to hear again! I recommend auditory verbal therapy to help reach your full potential with a cochlear implant. It requires a lot of hearing practice and brain connection to understand what sound you are hearing.

I had to ask everyone around me what noise I was hearing. I heard a lot of sounds that I never heard before with my old BTE mold hearing aid.

Sandra, who overcame her hearing loss with a cochlear implant, showing her sound processor on the back of her ear, posing under a tree and standing next to a pond. Newer technology = sounds I’ve never heard before

A few months later I received a new sound processor that is worn entirely behind-the-ear, freeing me from long cables and extra components. How amazing I felt!! I didn’t have to worry about anything hanging behind my ear and back. I was so happy when I received it.

The new sound processor also has programs to adjust sounds in different environments as well as adjust volume. This processor is adjusted by the audiologist like with the powerful bodyworn speech processor. With each and every appointment seeing my audiologist I would be able adjust the sound and programs and hear better and clearer, each time.

Since receiving my first cochlear implant speech processor, the technology is getting better and better with each new device. With the sound processor I have now – the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, I have been able to hear many new sounds. One sound was the door creaking! I never heard that growing up. Also crickets! I was shocked! I had to ask my friends and family members ‘what were those sounds coming from?’

A feature that I love is that I can connect to my phone1 using Bluetooth®. I can listen to my music without anyone hearing it, I can have privacy making calls without anyone hearing it and I even get to sleep at night with music playing in my sound processor. How cool is that?! The direct streaming ability also helps me take phone calls directly to my cell phone.

My Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is also great at alerting me when I receive a call or notification while I am cleaning or cooking. If I’m at a restaurant, I can change the setting using ForwardFocus2 on the processor to only hear my friend or loved one talk to me. The background sound will be lowered so that I can focus on the person’s voice who is talking to me, which makes it much easier to communicate. Another reason to say how awesome Cochlear is at continuing to improve technology for their recipients.

Life now, and looking toward the future

One of the things that helped me, and I suggest for anyone considering a cochlear implant, is to use flash cards when you receive your cochlear implant. Have someone say the word on the flash card while covering their mouth. You say what you think you heard. Practice this and it will help you improve your hearing. It’s what I did for months and it helped me a lot!

I am now a mom of 3 kiddos. I’m so blessed to hear their voices. I’m so glad I got the cochlear implant before I had my babies.

I am extremely appreciative of everyone involved at House Ear Clinic and beyond that helped me not only get to the point I am at today, but reintroduce sound into my life.

Hearing again changed my life! I appreciate it more to hear because for a whole two months being deaf was not easy for me. I was so used to hearing all the time with family and friends.

I am now teaching my kids to learn more American Sign Language 🤟🏼 They will be my future interpreters.

If you have any questions regarding to cochlear implant; don’t hesitate to follow me on Instagram @SoCalDeafMom or send me a DM to get in touch!”

If you have experienced hearing loss and are hopeful to overcome your diagnosis, learn about how cochlear implants may be a solution for you!

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  1. For a full list of smartphone and app compatible devices, visit:
  2. ForwardFocus can only be enabled by a hearing implant specialist. It should only be activated for users 12 years and older who are able to reliably provide feedback on sound quality and understand how to use the feature when moving to different or changing environments. It may be possible to have decreased speech understanding when using ForwardFocus in a quiet environment.
  3. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by Cochlear is under license.
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Jesse Griego
Jesse Griego is the Social Media Specialist at Cochlear Americas. Jesse finds inspiration daily in the resiliency of our recipients and their hearing journeys. Jesse was born and raised in Colorado and in his free time enjoys being a wrestling and lacrosse coach, playing guitar and being with his hound dog.